Three members of the International Seminar joined in a wide-ranging discussion Wednesday night on the problems blocking the unification of Europe.
Egon Matzner, official of the Austrian Federation of Trade Unions, declared, "There can be no greater mistake than to think of the six countries of Western Europe as all of Europe." Matzner emphasized the vital role of the European neutrals--Austria, Switzerland, and the Scandinavian countries, in encouraging better relations between Eastern and Western Europe.
According to Walter Boehlich, editor-in-chief of West Germany's Suhrkamp Publishing House, the first duty of the West German government is to effect a reconciliation with Poland and Russia. It must first assure Poland that it has no designs upon the territory lost to it at the close of World War II, should Germany eventually be reunified. Secondly, it must abandon the ostrich-like policy of refusing to maintain diplomatic relations with any country which recognizes the East German government.
Boehlich said his views represented prevailing public opinion within West Germany. They were not reflected in government policy because Adenauer's "blind anti-communism" and the undue influence of East German refugee groups, who condemn Ulbricht and refuse to recognize the division of Germany. Boehlich hopes for the eventual reunification of Germany, but declared, "A divided Germany is our reality, and we will have a united Europe only insofar as we recognize this reality."
The recent accord reached between Adenauer and De Gaulle Boehlich termed "a comedy." Discord between France and Germany belongs to the past, while present and future tensions in international relations will come from teh East.
Beniamino Placido, writer for II Mondo, emphasized the growth of Italy's communist party as both a cause and a result of the failure of the country's "so-called democratic parties" to put through effective plans for social change. Placido depicted the Italian communist party as a catch-all for protest votes from citizens with a wide variety of discontents. The Christian Democrats, Italy's largest party, is ineffective because "like a huge mass of jelly" it is always in danger of breaking when it moves in response to public pressure. The right-wing of the party evidences its fear of Communism in a conservative reaction, thus preventing the party's liberals from coming to terms with the Socialist Party's demands for reform and making a lasting coalition